Over the Christmas holidays, Dave and I sat down to do some budgeting and planning for 2018. As we discussed our finances (b o r i n g) and allotted moneys to appropriate accounts and all the responsible, adult things we were supposed to be doing, we quickly concluded that a trip would be financially doable (f u n !) We had just started to get Real Winter here, meaning the snow was piling up and we knew we wouldn't see the sunshine for another 6 months.
So we looked up a sunny destination that a bajillion Aeroplan points might get us to, and landed on Orlando. Dave had never been to Disney World, so I knew this was my chance to go again.
We freaking loved this vacation. Honestly, it was one of my favourite weeks ever.
The first day we arrived, the temperature was somewhere in the high teens, but not hot. Since the only warm clothes I had brought were the jeans and hoodie I wore on the plane, I was a little nervous we were in for a cooler week than I anticipated and wondered if I'd even get to wear all the summer clothes in my suitcase. Thankfully, that wasn't the case, and we had a glorious week of heat and sun.
This photo was taken on the morning of day two, our first Epcot day. As much as I love Disney World as a whole, I think I could plan a week-long trip in just Epcot. So much to see and do and EAT.
I think Dave would agree that one of his favourite attractions was the cider house in the England area of World Showcase.
Mine was the stands that sold these croissant donuts:
I went 27 days without eating sugar/yeast/dairy/anything fun before this trip, and then gave myself permission to indulge on vacation. I think that gave me an even greater appreciation for treats because I feel like everything I ate on this trip was a 10 on the delish scale. I'm back to no fun foods again, but I have zero regrets about these donuts.
Epcot currently has its International Flower and Garden Festival, so there were these beautiful plant/flower sculptures all over the park. The attention to detail everywhere is just unreal.
There was a on a display somewhere from Walt Disney himself that read “I don’t want the public to see the world they live in while they’re in Disneyland. I want them to feel they’re in another world.” I think that's what captivates people so much to come back to something that they know full well is "artificial", in a sense. There's something ideal about it that we long for in our own imperfect, messy lives. And when you visit these parks, you really feel like you've left that world behind for a time.
We didn't do a ton of rides, mostly because we didn't have the Fast Pass thing figured out until we actually got to Disney and didn't want to endure the lines too many times. We both agreed that out of the ones we did get to do, Expedition Everest was our favourite. I'm not really a roller coaster person- being flipped upside down or feeling my stomach drop is so unpleasant to me. But this one was just enough for me to scream the whole time, but not enough to terrify the crap out of me.
Most of my nighttime photography left much to be desired (these are Dave's photos), but this photo is of the Rivers of Light show in Animal Kingdom, where they project images onto water shooting out of these floating lotuses. I can't choose a favourite between this one or the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth show in Epcot. (Fun fact about me: I loooove fireworks.) These shows are just larger than life and when the music is going and there are colours flying everywhere, it's hard not to get swept up in all the emotions and feelings. I loved these shows so much. You can never overuse the word "magic" here, it just really feels like magic.
As sad as I was to clue up our time at Disney, I'm thankful we planned a couple extra days of downtime. We booked an Airbnb that I had no idea was so nice until we arrived. Definitely the kind of surprise you want when checking out your accommodations for the first time! I wish we'd had more time to hang out next to that pool, but alas, there were outlet stores to get to.
We spent an afternoon at Cocoa Beach, and this guy got to try surfing for the first time. He even stood up a couple times!
Continuing with one of the themes for this trip: D O N U T S. I really wish we had a Krispy Kreme here (among many other restaurants and stores), but I can't help feeling that coming from a small town makes going on vacations to metropolitan areas all the more exciting. Because this sort of thing really is a treat for us. Eating the warm donut straight off the conveyer may have been another highlight for me.
The most shopping I did was at Target and I managed to pick up some of my favourite things: clothes, stickers and washi tape. A successful shopping trip, indeed.
The sunrises and sunsets really were as beautiful as everyone else's Instagram posts make them seem. After months of being unwell, I had an almost pain-free week while we were here. Maybe it was the sun, the freedom from stress, the busyness or the quality time with Dave. It was probably a combination of all those things. Regardless of why, I am so thankful we got to have this vacation after a winter that has felt longer than usual to me.
Plus I now get why so many Newfoundlanders spend so much time here in the winter. Only approximately 30 more years until we retire and obtain snowbird status. Can't wait!